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March 13, 2018

Tough Talk As Oklahoma's Wind Industry Becomes A Political Target

  • Government
  • Elected Body
  • Industry
  • Energy

National Public Radio – Here's how contentious the wind industry has become in Oklahoma: When a state representative discovered a GPS tracker on his pickup truck late last year, he immediately suspected the industry, in an allegation straight out of a political thriller.

Rep. Mark McBride explained he may have been targeted because he was writing legislation to increase taxes on the wind industry.

The case is under investigation. The wind industry denies any wrongdoing.

Such tensions are a major turnaround.

Starting in the early '90s, this longtime oil and gas state embraced the wind industry, wooing companies with generous tax breaks. Oklahoma recently became second in the country for wind power capacity, after Texas. The nation's largest wind farm is under construction here.

But the cost of wind incentives has ballooned as the industry has grown. Lawmakers started missing that lost money, as oil prices crashed and state budget gaps widened. Now, some say Oklahoma can no longer afford the tax breaks that helped wind power take hold.

Read more at National Public Radio.

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